Raleigh Murder Case Enters Sentencing
Posted February 28, 1998
RALEIGH — John Williams, convicted Friday of murdering two women and raping several others, returns to court for sentencing Monday.
Williams faces the possibility of the death penalty or life without parole.
He was also the suspect in several other slayings of women, but prosecutors say they did not have enough evidence to charge him in those cases. The jury acquitted Williams of two attempted rapes and one assault.
Prosecutors said Williams, 37, a native of Augusta, Ga., sought his targets from among women drug addicts in a 2-mile area of downtown Raleigh. The women were said to trade sex for drugs. No matter their lifestyle, the prosecutors told the jury, the women did not deserve to be murdered.
Williams was found guilty of murdering Patricia Ashe, 32, and Deborah Elliott, 30. Ashe's body was discovered on a bench on South Blount Street; Elliott was found beaten to death in the abandoned Pine State Creamery on Glenwood Avenue.